The contrast between “perfection” versus “imperfection” appears to be underlying theme in the album “Imperfections” by Aries Marquis. It’s a celebration of the fantastic juxtaposed with the flaws of life that provides the spice and flavor which makes this world the kind of place it is, and that an artist such as Marquis savors and craves.
He begins by setting the stage for his thesis with the opening track, “Perfect World”. Its laidback and mesmerizing melody sets the mood for his dreamy lyrics that paint a utopian dreamscape of promise and fulfillment. He’s an example:
“Just imagine waking up everyday
With no worry on your mind or no problems in your face
For every 365, we’re alright (alright)
Everybody has their needs and wants
So no stabbers in the back, and no haters in the front
We walk, we run; we live with peace-of-mind
There’s no such thing as fearing each other
The whole world is bonded as sisters and brothers”
The next song, “Please Tell Me”, acts as the counterbalance. Musically terse and emotionally tentative it raises the suspicion and intensity levels with its sharply portrayed point of view of being the one on the outside looking in on a crumbling love affair. As the level of unrequited love seems to rise, so does the personal paranoia of the jilted lover. Aries comes across here like a tightrope walker who knows his fall is eminent.
“Ole’ Scotlandville” is like a love letter to his hometown. Born and bred in Baton Rouge, LA, in a small town named Scotlandville, Aries Marquis reminisces his way throughout the verses and choruses about the place where he grew up and the myriad of reasons of why he loves it so. Even as ever so humble it is, the undeniable conclusion he draws is that there’s no place like home. Whereas the first two tunes show off his talent as an R&B/Pop singer, in this tune he gets to work the kind of hip-hop swagger that any established rap MC would envy.
Returning to a more traditional R&B style, “Just Us”, is an ode to the feeling of perfection one feels when two souls come together. The utilization of a sparse piano accompaniment opening in this piece is the foreplay of musical lovemaking that gently progresses toward the heartfelt gospel choir which cumulates in the song’s inevitable closing climax. Marquis really turns this one into a nearly religious experience.
“Love Me For Me” is a simple acknowledgement of human limitations. “Baby, just love me for me/I’m just a man/I cannot do all things; just the best I can/I am imperfect, and so full of flaws/But all I’m praying for is your love thru it all”. It employs a more orchestral arrangement and, in my opinion, is the number that not only allows Aries to showcase his full vocal prowess, but to once again counterpoint the perspectives of imperfect against perfection that is the apparent focus of this curious collection of tracks.
Closing out the compilation is the sweetly rendered “Touching”. Praising the sensation of touching and being touched, both mentally as well as physically, by those we love is perhaps one of the greatest gifts a human is endowed with. It’s not only a clever way to complete the song cycle, but it’s a wonderful way to remind us of the blessings we often overlook in our lives.
You can follow and keep up with Aries Marquis on FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/AriesMarquis), but what I’d really suggest is don’t just read the words of my review; treat yourself to a truly satisfying aural experience by going to https://soundcloud.com/aries-marquis and listen to his entire album. If you like what you hear then you can show your support by going to Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Imperfections-Aries-Marquis/dp/B00U1J2MV0/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1427502919&sr=1-1&keywords=Aries+Marquis) or iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/imperfections/id971332098) to purchase downloads.